I was at a networking event last night and the topic of burgers came up. I mentioned how Kopp’s has the BEST butter burgers anywhere in my opinion. Someone replied (and this was in the Chicago area), “You mean not Culver’s?” My heart raced. I started a cold sweat.
“No, not Culver’s.”
The Kopp’s butter burger starts with the bun. It’s the perfect bun-to-meat ratio. Their huge slabs of burger fill the bun up. I hate those wimpy burgers that don’t even come close to the sides of the bun. Then, they have this cheese. I don’t know what it is because it’s not quite American and it’s not quite cheddar but it melts perfectly. It stays congealed to the burger in a way that I haven’t seen replicated anywhere and I have tried it at home to no success. I don’t think they steam their cheese to get it to the proper consistency so I would love to know what they do.
I also don’t like a burger with a bunch of a toppings. Gimme some cheese and a few pickles and I’m golden. I’m not one for slathering on ketchup, mustard, fried onion, the entire garden and then whatever happens to be in the fridge, too. Sometimes I will step out of my little comfort box and get a burger with ‘shrooms and Swiss or A-1 and sauteed mushrooms, but that’s about as far as I go. Sometimes…and this is when I get really crazy…I indulge in a veggie burger. Yea, I know how to live it up.
There’s been this huge movement in Milwaukee lately to see who has the best burger. Travel Channel’s Food Wars even filmed an episode here between Sobelman’s and AJ Bombers. I’ve only been to Sobelman’s so I can’t give a true account of which one would win in the episode. Find out in a few weeks when the episode finally airs who the true King of Burgerdom is in Brew City.
But honestly, my favorite burger in Milwaukee is Kopps. I know this is a sensitive topic for many and it gets heated. There are people out there who say Solly’s Grille with their true butter burgers – the ones that make my husband’s limbs buzz. There’s Mazo’s – which is just as much about experience. When you park in the back lot and walk through the alley, you’re greeted with the warm and inviting smell of grilled burger topped with goodness. The small luncheonette area takes you back 30 years with its formica countertops, small booths and collegial spirit. There’s Five Guys – a relative newcomer to the area and a chain – that has brought it’s huge burgers with all-the-toppings-you-could-want included and ginormous portions of fries. Elsa’s, Hooligan’s, Bella’s Fat Cat, Leff’s Lucky Town, Kelly’s Bleachers…the list goes on and on.
So, what makes the perfect burger for you? If you don’t see an option below that you like, submit a comment in the section under the post. I’d love to hear what you think makes the perfect burger!
4 thoughts on “The perfect burger”
I have to respectfully disagree. I love Kopp’s custard, but their burgers only rate an A- or B+ in my book. I am just not that big a fan of the “jumbo burger” style found at most Milwaukee custard places. I prefer a smaller, juicier patty.
In the end, the meat is most important. The best buns and toppings in the world can’t salvage dry or flavorless beef.
Hooligan’s and Elsa’s are my favorite non-chain burgers in town, although I’ve never been to Mazo’s.
Avocodo. Bacon. Swiss cheese. The avocado, bacon swiss burger at Red Robin is my all. Time. Favorite. Not a huge fan of chain restaurants, but let’s be honest – this is the best burger ever. And, fries with ranch dressing on the side? Yes, please.
J-Dub – I’ll take your A- or B+. That’s still a solid grade for a burger. I think it’s important to mention that really you can’t compare apples to apples when talking burgers. A butter burger compared to say the smaller, beefy, juicier patty at a Hooligan’s or Elsa’s is a completely different beast.
Stephanie – Really, Red Robin? My last few trips I’ve found their beef to be too highly salted. It made the bottomless drinks a great buy but it was too much to handle. Lately, I’ve switched to their veggie burgers. I’ll be interested to try their Brookfield Square locale when it opens.
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